Former Attorney General Bill Barr said on Thursday’s installment of Bari Weiss’s “Honestly” podcast that he is tired of the “constant pandering” those on the right outraged by the FBI over the raid of Mar-a-Lago.
Barr defended the DOJ and FBI’s handling of its ongoing investigation into former President Donald Trump allegedly storing government documents at his Florida residence.
Barr said, “A lot of the attacks on the FBI are over the top.”
Weiss asked, “So what do you say to conservatives who say, ‘Why should we possibly trust these institutions to prosecute people — let’s say who protested on January 6 or agents of the state going after a president they so obviously despise? Why should we trust them anymore? You still give them the benefit of the doubt, but many other people in your party don’t.”
Barr said, “Well, the Russiagate thing, I think, to the extent the FBI was misused was decisions made toward by high-level officials in the FBI. I don’t think that Chris Wray is that type of leader, nor do I think the people around Chris Wray are those types of leaders. I think there are problems in the FBI, but it’s not that. It’s not the Chris Wray. Wray is going to wake up and say, you know, ‘How do I throw the FBI’s weight around to interfere in the political process. Just the opposite. I think he’s very cautious about that.”
He continued, “You know, something I’m pretty tired of from- from the Right is the constant pandering to outrage and people’s frustrations. And picking and picking and picking at that sore without trying to channel those feelings in a constructive direction. In my opinion, Ronald Reagan was a great populist not because he followed, you know, the frustrated instincts and the outrage of the people that many people who supported him but because he channeled it and was constructive about it.”
Barr added, “So I always say, you know, what’s the alternative? We have these institutions that need reform. And the first step is to win an election with a decisive majority that allows you to put a program into effect and deal with some of these problems going forward and fix them. And that is not done by throwing fuel on the fire of outrage on one side of the equation while the other side does the same thing on their side. That leads to stalemate. And I don’t see anything productive coming out of it. I think we should basically try to persuade people- and I think they’re there.”
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